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Jul 19, 2012 01:12 PM

Culinary Team Building Events in San Francisco

Does anyone have any specific experience with these? There seem to be a number of businesses offering them (i.e., "Parties that Cook," "Hands on Gourmet," etc). Looking for a good experience for a group --say anywhere from 15 - 35 people, and so seeking comments from those who have personal experience with them.

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  1. I planned one for my company last year at HOG for 60 people. We looked at several vendors including Parties that Cook but chose HOG because of the price and customer service. Parties that Cook was very slow in responding to our questions. Plus you had to rent out space, pay for travel of employees, contract with bartenders, etc. HOG was all inclusive and had their own space.

    Speaking of space, HOG has a very nice set up in the Dogpatch area with easy parking and a spectacular view. The staff was accomodating and easy to work with. My company is very picky and they were able to meet all the demands and back and forth questions our legal team had.

    As for the day itself, everyone had a lot of fun. Space was very clean and timeline was organized. A few things I would suggest though:
    - The head chef was very quiet and had a hard time controlling our group and making announcements. I finally had to take the reins and get everybody to listen. Also, they didn't turn down the music when trying to make announcements so look for that too.
    - The event manager wasn't around much for the actual event. The head chef was trying to lead one of the groups on top of managing the whole party. I had to ask several times for the manager when issues would come up. I would have liked someone to be walking around and available whenever we needed them given our size and how much we were paying.
    - It was a spare the air day when we went and the building shut off the elevators. Obviously, beyond the company's control but the space is hard to find inside the building. (The signage is bad and it's like a rat's maze if you don't know where you're going.) Knowing this, I asked HOG to provide personnel to guide people up to the space, but the person they sent got side tracked to do something else and we had people walking all around the building.

    These incidents did not deter from the fact that it was a successful event and I would definitely use them again, but I hope they help you and your day.

    2 Replies
    1. re: calalilly

      Definitely sounds like one to look into. A personal plus for being in Dogpatch too!

      1. re: Joan Kureczka

        My coworkers told me that Parties that cook had a really good reputation so I did an event with them a few months back and it went really well! I called on a Tuesday for an event that I wanted for Saturday and they were able to accommodate my group in a really short amount of time. We ended up having our group go to a winery - which was gorgeous! They got back to me immediately with a list of prices and such.

        The day of the event was great! The chefs were really professional but kept things extremely fun! We ended up doing a competition cooking challenge which was a lot of fun. We still have some of the picture hanging in the office!

        I plan to do an event with them again soon and would definitely recommend them!

    2. La Cocina has unique classes featuring authentic cuisines. I used to work for one of the businesses there, so I know that they sometimes shut down part or all of the kitchen either for their classes (below) or for classes put on by outside businesses who rent the space. I haven't personally rented out the space, but the participants seem happy. La Cocina is walkable from the 24th Street BART station. If you want to keep the party going after the class, your group could convene at a fun watering hole in the nearby Mission.